A BOLTON rugby star and ex-sports coach has taken on a daunting running challenge during Lent for a sports mental health charity.

Louis Critchlow, from Westhoughton, will run seven kilometres each day for the 46 days leading up to Easter Sunday - totalling more than 300km, or around seven full marathons.

Instead of giving up chocolate or crisps for Lent, he has decided to take on this mental and physical endurance challenge for Sport in Mind, a charity which uses sport and physical activity to improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems.

Louis, 30. said: “I always see my friends doing these types of challenges but I’ve never done one myself.

“Running isn’t something that I’m particularly keen on so I will be pushed to my limits during this challenge.

“Sport has always been a major part of my life where I have competed in swimming galas, to 1XV rugby for Bolton RUFC, to triathlons. I’ve made a vast array of friends through sport and have experienced many moments of happiness from it.”

For eight years, Louis owned Kadoo Sports, and coached thousands of primary school children in Bolton. He now works in finance for his dad’s company.

“I was able to see the great joy children got through sport and how it brought together classes as a team,” he added.

So far, he has raised £965, which is just shy of his original target of £1,000, which he looks set to smash.

He hit the halfway point on Thursday, March 11, and says he is feeling good, despite never having ran more than two days back to back before taking on this challenge.

He is being spurred on by his mum and dad, and has received a welcome boost from them cheering from their doorstep when he runs past their house.

Louis added: “By pushing myself and completing this challenge I hope to raise some money for the charity and inspire the younger generation to get involved in sport, as there are endless opportunities to be made as well as life long friendships.”

A link to the fundraiser can be found here.